Work halted at old Rugby college site after tree cutting - The Rugby Observer
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Work halted at old Rugby college site after tree cutting

Rugby Editorial 25th Jun, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

WORK has been halted at a major development on Lower Hillmorton Road after trees were pollarded without permission – just two weeks since councillors and residents said they were concerned about the safety of trees at the site.

Rugby Borough Council told contractors Bellway Homes to stop work on their 131 home development at the old Rugby College site after the breach of planning conditions was discovered.

Coun Jerry Roodhouse, who was among councilors and residents to raise concern over the treatment of trees at the site two weeks ago, said he was disappointed, and hoped Bellway would communicate more closely with locals.

He told the Observer: “What we’ve tended to find with good developers is that once they go onsite, they re-engage with the community. But that seems to have been difficult in this situation.

“We’re willing to work with developers. We’re not against this development – it’s more about how they implement it.

“Bellway Homes need to adhere very closely to the planning conditions that were put down, and the borough council needs to make damn sure that those conditions are met. Our planning department is very good, but I do sometimes think we need to be a little stronger on the enforcement side.”

Councillors Sue Roodhouse (front centre), Neil Sandison (rear centre) and Jerry Roodhouse (second right) with concerned residents on Lower Hillmorton Road.

Coun Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council’s development spokeswoman, said planning officers had been in regular contact with Bellway Homes since the start of the development.

She added: “On Wednesday June 17 a planning officer visited the site and works were being carried out in accordance with the planning permission.

“However, on a further visit on Friday June 19, a planning officer found the permission had been breached in relation to trees on the site.

“The officer immediately required the contractors to stop work and we’re now in talks with Bellway Homes to ensure the development can progress in accordance with the planning permission.

“We intend to carry on monitoring the development extremely closely.”

A spokesperson for Bellway Homes said: “We are continuing to work with Rugby Borough Council Officers. Meetings have been arranged with council employees on site later this week to further confirm all tree protection works are complete.”

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